November 29, 2006

It is often vaunted that women, apparently unlike men, are happy (happier? happiest?) when doing two or more things at once.

As a true male of the species I have been erecting wardrobes over the past two days with a single-mindedness of purpose which does credit to those of us who nobly bear the burden of the y-chromosome. A few brief highlights:

  • after a great deal of agonising we finally plumped for good old Ikea stuff – so reliable
  • BishWife visited the store and chose some with a v. glossy white finish. Nice.
  • we measured, planned, measured again and finally ordered (more of which anon)
  • and lo! the corner unit we needed had been discontinued so the plans were useless
  • we measured again, scratched heads, discovered that the original plan would never have worked anyway (thanks God!), drew up a new plan and the order was placed
  • and lo! packages turned up and we saw that it was good

Now, as for ordering, of course everyone knows that you can’t order stuff from Ikea. You can check the stock before you go, but there’s no guaranatee that it will still be there when you arrive, having taken the day off, hired your van and battled through the traffic to Croydon. How do they stay in business, I ask you? (And what about that alternative where you collect it all on a trolley, drag it through the checkout to pay for it and then wheel it next door to the delivery company? Who thought that up?)

BUT WAIT: a marvellous little company called Unflatpack will now do all this for you. You order the stuff from them, they worry about what is in stock and when, then bring it all round to you in one go and put it where you want it. They’ll even put it together for you if you have the DIY equivalent of two left feet yourself. Fantastic. Not only that, but they are actually nice to deal with, courteous and efficient, and they pay you handsomely to say nice things about them on your blog (just joking!).

Now, whatever we might think about Ikea stores and business models, their stuff does go together like a dream, so I was finished well within my allocated two-day time frame and we now have shiny white wardrobes with oodles of space to stash away all our stuff. In fact, I may have to go and buy more clothes as my entire collection fills two drawers and half a wardrobe; about one third of the space I have to play with. What would Trinny and Susannah say?

There’s another great bit too. Of course when the electrical outlets were positioned during the Great Redecoration, they were located according to the original plan, and now those either side of the bed are obscured by wardrobes, so I have had to hack lumps out of the backs of the cupboards in order that we can reach the switches. Tch!

But, to the point. I’m in the middle of all this when it is announced by BishWife that a man is coming to remove the fireplace from the front room. Evidently it is not enough to have chaos in one room at a time, but we must start, at ten o’clock at night, to move all the furniture around downstairs to make room for that operation too. Ok, that’s do-able, but then there are the phone and ADSL cables that drape across the front of the fireplace because it is disused. (Yes, alright I “haven’t got round to” moving them yet: it’s on my list.) We now have to dismantle those too and drag wires out from the fluffy recesses behind bookshelves, desks, sofas, you name it, so that they don’t get destroyed in the unpleasantness. Talk about multi-tasking. I’m afraid I suffered a bit of a sense-of-humour failure.

Hey-ho. We’ll see what the damage is tonight. And we’ve still got to offload all the old bedroom furniture somewhere in fairly short order. Any offers?


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